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Top 10 Painless Ways to Lose Weight

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Updated April 26, 2009

Weight lose secret: how not what. We tend to think about what we eat more than how we eat. By making simple changes in the way you eat, you can avoid 100s of mindless calories a day. These ten items may feel a bit strange at first, but keep doing them until they become a habit and you will start to see the benefits.

1. Slow Down

Almost everyone eats too fast. It takes 20 minutes before the stomach can tell the brain it is full, yet the average meal lasts only about 10 minutes. The result is that we eat far more than we need, making 60% of American adults overweight. If slowing down can save 100 calories a day, that could add up to a pound a month.

2. Small Plates

A scoop of mashed potatoes looks small on our oversized dinner plates. Put your food on small, 9-inch plates and your serving sizes will be more accurate. This simple trick can convince our brain that we have 'eaten enough', saving us 100s of calories a day.

3. Sit at the Table

We can consume 100s of calories of cookies and chips while browsing in the pantry or grabbing a snack. These calories add up. Eat every single bite of food while sitting at the table. The extra effort will scare off weak cravings and allow you to assess how much you are eating.

4. Only Eat from a Plate

Resolve to only eat from a plate. Eating from bags, shared dishes (like chip or popcorn bowls), or straight from the container hides how much we are really eating. Take the time to place all the food you eat on a plate.

5. Move the Serving Dishes

Do not put serving dishes on the table -- it is far too easy to have a second or third scoop. Leave the serving dishes in the kitchen. You can still have seconds, you just have to get up to get them.

6. Eat Better Desserts

Become a dessert gourmand. Eat only the finest, most expensive desserts you can find and afford. You will eat less and enjoy them more. The cookie and candy aisle in the grocery store is filled with sugary things that don't really taste that good. Find some $4 truffles and relish them.

7. Eat Often

Eat less at meals but tell yourself you can go back in a few hours for more food if you need to. Have trail mix, nuts, yogurt and other snacks handy. Try to decrease the amount of food you need to feel satisfied at a meal.

8. Eat When You Eat

When you eat, eat. Do not watch TV, read a newspaper, talk on the phone, or drive a car. Just eat. Pay attention to your food. Monitor your servings. Distraction will lead to automatic eating.

9. Liquid Calories

Examine the number of calories you drink. You can usually cut out hundreds of calories a day by eliminating full sugar sodas, juices, and alcohol. Keep a log of everything you drink and then add up the calories. Substitute hot tea, iced tea, and water.

10. Crave From Your Plate at the Table

When you have cravings, first try to wait at least 5 minutes. If you are still craving the food, do the following: get a small plate, put a few bites of the craved item on the plate (no more than one serving, read the label), put the package away, take your plate to the table, eat your food without distraction, and ask yourself if it is worth it.

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